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NOW With Alex Wagner

News/Business. Alex Wagner. Forces driving the day's stories. New.

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Washington 13, America 9, John Boehner 8, Boehner 8, Joe Biden 8, Pennsylvania 6, Costco 5, Unitedhealthcare 3, Romney 3, Paul Ryan 3, Biden 3, Nancy Pelosi 3, Humana 3, Sam 2, Michael Crowley 2, Obama 2, Pegeny Noonan 2, Melissa 2, United States 2, Pelosi 2,
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  MSNBC    NOW With Alex Wagner    News/Business. Alex Wagner.  
   Forces driving the day's stories. New.  

    November 30, 2012
    9:00 - 10:00am PST  

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at long last, feigned washington outrage has been replaced by actual washington outrage. it's friday, november 30th. this is "now." joining me today, host of the aupon muss msnbc show melissa harris- perry is here. could it be that democrats are a little caught up in powerball madness? this is the reaction of a maryland man reportedly watching each lottery number fall into place and realize he may get
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everything he's ever wanted. yesterday treasury secretary timothy geithner went to capitol hill with a proposal that included everything the white house wanted. it has two stages. phase one, to be agreed on before the new year would raise nearly $1.6 trillion in new tax revenue including raising the top two marginal rates, ask for $50 billion in stimulus spending and a permanent end of congress' ability to prevent debt ceiling increases and nonspecified cuts to entitlement spending. phase two more friendly to republican interests calling for $400 billion in unspecified cuts to entitlement programs with no guarantees. the chances of this plan making it through congress may be lower than the chance of winning the botterball lottery jackpot. surprising no one, republicans acted with vague horror. mcmcconnell said he burst into laughter in front of geithner. an aide told nbc news it is a
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complete break from reality and orrin hatch told buzz feed, i don't think anybody will agree to that and john cornyn added, i don't think he's serious. the white house aims to negotiate down from the opening salvo to a happy immediate yum. it is a bold offier or "the huffington post" wrote -- who is this president and what have you done with barack obama? speaking of who, president obama is about to make another power play returning to the campaign trail, about to speak to factory workers pennsylvania to sell his positions on taxes and a fiscal cliff deal. >> i also got a chance to meet some of the folks who have been working around the clock to keep up with the christmas rush and that's a good thing. these guys are santa's extra elves here. they manufacture almost 3,000 connect pieces every minute and every box that ends up on store shelves in 30 countries is
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stamped "made in america." that's something to be proud of [ applause ] by the way, i hope the camera folks had a chance to take a look at some of the kinex including that flag made out of kinex. joe biden was in costco, he wanted to buy some of this stuff but i told him he had too much work to do. i wasn't going to have him building roller coasters all day long. now, of course, santa delivers everywhere. i've been keeping my own naughty and nice list for washington. so you should keep your eye on who gets some kinex this year. there will be some members of congress who get them and some who don't. [ applause ]
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look, this is a wonderful time of year. it's been a few weeks since a long election finally came to an end. and, obviously, i couldn't be more honored to be back in the white house. but i'm already missing the time that i spent on the campaign visiting towns like this and talking to folks like you. >> we love you. >> i love you back. that's why i miss it. [ applause ] >> one of the benefits of traveling and getting out of the white house is it gives you a chance to have a conversation with the american people about what kind of country do we want to be and what kind of country do we want to leave to our kids? i believe america only thrives when we have a strong and growing middle class and i believe we're at our best when everybody who works hard has a chance to get ahead. that's what i believe.
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and i know that's what the founders of this company believe as well. we were talking about these guys' dad who i understand just passed away at the age of 101, which is -- so these guys have good genes, in addition to inventive minds. and the story of generations starting businesses, hiring folks, making sure that if you work hard you can get ahead, that's what america is all about. that's at the heart of the plan i have been talking about all year. i want to reward manufacturers like this one and small businesses that create jobs here in the united states. not overseas. [ applause ] and by the way this is one of the few companies in the toy industry that have aggressive moved jobs back here. that's a great story to tell.
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[ applause ] because we've got the best workers in the world and the most productive workers in the world and so we need champions for american industry creating jobs here in the united states. i want to give more americans the chance to earn the skills that businesses are looking for right now and give our childrens the kind of education that they need in the 21st century. i want america to lead the world in research and technology and clean energy. i want to put people back to work rebuilding our roads and bridges and our schools. and i want to do all this while bringing down our deficits in a balanced and responsible way. [ applause ] on this last point, you probably heard a lot of talk in washington and in the media
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about the deedlines that we're facing on jobs and taxes and investment. this is not some run-of-the-mill debate. this isn't about which political party can come out on top in negotiations. we've got important decisions to make that are going to have a real impact on businesses and families all across the country. our long-term goal is to get our long-term deficit under control in a way that is balanced and is fair and that would be good for businesses, for our economy, for future generations. and i believe both parties can and will work together in the coming weeks to get that done. we know how that gets done. we're going to have to raise a little more revenue, we've got to cut out spending we don't need, building on the trillion dollars of spending cuts we've already made, and if we combine those two things, we can create a path where america's paying its bills while still being able to make investments in the
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things we need to grow like education and infrastructure. we know how to do that. but, you know, in washington, nothing is easy so there's going to be some prolonged negotiations. and all of us will have to get out of our comfort zones to make that happen. i'm willing to do that. i'm hoping enough members of congress in both parties are willing to do that as well. we can solve these problems. but where the clock is really ticking right now, is on middle-class taxes. at the end of the year, middle class taxes that are currently in place are set to expire. middle class tax cuts that are currently in place are set to expire. there are two things that can happen. if congress does nothing every family in america will see their income taxes automatically go up on january 1st.
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every family, everybody here, you will see your taxes go up on january 1st. i mean, i'm assuming that doesn't sound too good to you. that's sort of like the lump of coal you get for christmas. that's a scrooge christmas. a typical middle-class family of four would see their income taxes go up by $2200. for a typical family. more for some folks. that's money a lot of families just can't afford to lose. that's less money to buy gas, less money to buy groceries, in some cases it means tougher choices between paying the rent and saving for college. it means less money to buy more kinex. just the other day, economists said that if income taxes go up
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on the middle class, people will spend nearly $200 billion less in stores and on-line. and when folks are buying fewer toys or clothes or cars, it's not good for our businesses, economy, it's not good for our employment. so that's one path. congress does nothing, we don't deal with this looming tax hike on middle-class families and starting in january, everybody gets hit with this big tax hike and businesses suddenly see fewer customers, less demand, the economy which we've been fighting for four years to get out of this incredible economic crisis we have, it starts stalling again. that's one path. the good news is there is a seconding on. right now congress can pass a law that would prevent a tax hike on the first $250,000 of everybody's income.
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everybody. that means 98% of americans, 97% of small businesses, wouldn't see their income taxes go up by a single dime. because 98% of americans make $250,000 a year or less. 97% of small businesses make $250,000 a year or lessp. if you say income taxes don't go up for any income above $250,000, the vast majority of americans, they don't see a tax hike. but here's the thing. even the top 2%, even folks who make more than $250,000, they'd still keep their tax cut on the first $250,000 of income. it would still be better off for them too for us to go ahead and get that done. families would have a sense of security going into the new year. companies like this, would know what to expect in terms of planning for next year and the year after.
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that means people's jobs would be secure. the sooner congress gets this done, the sooner our economy will get a boost. and it will then give us in washington more time to work together on that long-range plan to bring down deficits in a balanced way. tax reform, working on entitlements and asking the wealthiest americans to pay more to keep investing in things like education and research to make us strong. so those are the choices that we have. and understand this was a central question in the election. maybe the central question in the election. you remember. we talked about this a lot. it wasn't like this should come as a surprise to anybody. we had debates about it. there were a lot of tv commercials about it. and at the end of the day, a clear majority of americans, democrats, republicans,
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independents, they agreed with a balanced approach to deficit reduction and making sure middle-class taxes don't go up. folks agreed to that. now the good news is we're starting to see a few republicans coming around to it too. i'm talking about republicans in congress. so the reason i'm here is because i want the american people to urge congress soon, in the next week, the next two weeks, to begin the work we have by doing what we all agree on -- both parties agree that we should extend the middle-class tax cuts. we have disagreements about the high--end tax cuts, republicans don't want to raise taxes on folks like me, i think i can pay a little more to make sure kids can go to college and we can build roads and invest in nih to find cures for alzheimer's and
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that's a disagreement we will have and sort out, but we already all agree we say on making sure middle class taxes don't go up. let's get that done. let's take the fear out for the vast majority of american families so they don't have to worry about $2,000 coming out of their pockets starting next year. the senate has passed a bill to keep income taxes from going up on middle-class families. that's passed the senate. your members of congress, like allison and shaka, other democrats in the house, they're ready to go. they're ready to vote on that same thing. and if we can just get a few house republicans on board we can pass the bill in the house, it will land on my desk and i am ready. i've got a bunch of pens ready to sign this bill. i'm ready to sign it. [ applause ] i'm ready to sign it. [ applause ]
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there are no shortage of pens in the white house. and i carry one around for an emergency just in case. just waiting for the chance to use it to sign this bill to make sure people's taxes don't go up. but -- well, i -- don't thank me yet because i haven't signed it. i need -- i need some help from congress. so the key is, though, that the american people have to be involved. you know, it's not going to be enough for me to just dos this on my own. i'm hopeful both sides will come together and do the right thing. we all know you can't take anything for granted when it comes to washington. let's face it. and that's why i'm going to be asking for all of you to make your voices heard over the next few days and the next couple of weeks. i need you to remind members of congress, democrats and
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republicans, not get bogged down in a bunch of partisan bickering but let's focus on people who sent us to washington and make sure that we're doing the right thing by them. so i want you to call, i want you to send an e-mail, post on their facebook wall, if you tweet, then use a hash tag we're calling #my2k, not y 2 k, #my2k. because it's about your 2k in your pocket. we're trying to burn that into people's minds here. [ applause ] in the meantime i'm doing my part. i'm meeting with every constituency group out there. we're talking to ceos, we're talking to labor groups, we're talking to civic groups, i'm talking to, you know, media outlets, just explaining to the american people this is not that
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complicated. let's make sure that middle class taxes don't go up, get that done in the next couple weeks. let's also work together on a fair and balanced, responsible plan so that we are paying our bills. we're not spending on things we don't need, but we are still spending on the things that makes us grow. that's the kind of fair, balanced, responsible plan that i talked about during the campaign and that's what the majority of americans believe in. so, i'm hopeful, but i'm going to need folks like you, the people here in hatfield and pennsylvania and across the country, to get this done. a lot is riding on this debate. this is too important to our economy, it's too important to our families, to not get it done and it's not acceptable to me and i don't think it's acceptable to you, for just a handful of republicans in congress to hold middle-class tax cuts hostage simply because they don't want tax rates on upper income folks to go up.
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all right. that doesn't make sense. [ applause ] if your voices are here, we can help businesses like this one, sell a whole bunch of kinex. [ applause ] let's give families all across america the kind of security and certainty that they deserve during the holiday season. let's keep our economy on the right track. let's stand up for the american belief that each of us have our own dreams and aspirations, but we're also in this together. we can work together in a responsible way that we're one people and one nation, that's what this country is about, that's what all of you deserve, what i'm fighting for every single day and i will keep fighting for as long as i have the privilege of being your president. thank you very much everybody.
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god bless you, god bless america. >> that is president obama speaking at the manufacturing facility in hatfield, pennsylvania. melissa harris-perry i think sasha and malia will get kinex roller coasters. could the president push those more than the tax cuts. i'm likening this to when dillon went electric. we are seeing obama play a hard ball that the democrats have not played with this current sort of republican party and it's most modern manifestation. what do you make of the messaging now, the fact he is going hard with one message only, which is about middle class tax cuts, he has dispatched his ambassadors to the hill with a plan that republicans found shall we say off putting? >> look, the fact is that nothing structurally changed in terms of the amount of power that this president has to cope with this congress except that he won re-election, right? but it's the same players, everybody's in the same seat,
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it's the same lame duck congress. there's no inside bargaining that is itself essentially different than it was a few weeks ago. the one thing he has and keep claiming is the public mandate around the election and go back and make sure the narrative is written that the people voted for him for re-election for this purpose and the only way to do that is to make the appeal directly to the american people. >> and he is underscoring his reasonableness. i feel like this is a reasonableness towards having romney to the white house, meeting with ceos who donated to romney going out there as michael crowley pointed out, we were chit chatting over the president, full disclosure, the president using a fair and balanced to describe his approach which is a republican line. >> never heard the phrase. >> but, you know, the question is, does that at some point backfire for him? the republicans seem to be pushing back saying this is extreme, insane, we can't believe this is -- >> i think the best contrast for what's happening is the stimulus bill that happened in 2009. it was the first thing he did
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after being elected in 2008 and did a dramatically different than what he did now. he structured the bill with the tax cuts in it and told republicans okay, come on board, you have about a third of the tax cuts in the package, that's what you wanted and he didn't give them an incentive to buy into the enterprise. he didn't allow them to claim ownership of the change to the legislation and did an inside game what melissa was talking about. he went to the senate and tried to get republicans to come on board. zero luck in the house, some luck in the senate. now he's going out and trying to put the public pressure on congress to move and allowing them an option to buy in. he starts with this legislative proposal, very much a list of priorities which he's going to move off of. no one on this set well think he's going to stand there. >> yeah. he almost should have just asked for his face to be carved on to mount rushmore. >> that's done already. >> but the idea here is that at some point, the republicans will say to their base, we got this, we got that. we preserved the estate tax, the tax on -- the low tax rates on
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dividends. look at the things we got off this proposal. you should back this. >> do you think he's even giving them cover on this because it's so extreme? >> i think he wants boehner to go back to his caucus and say this is where the president started. look at the hardball negotiating i did to get the president down from $1.6 trillion on tax hikes to $1 trillion on tax hikes. i saved $600 billion in tax hikes and that's probably the most effective if not the only way he can negotiate this bill. >> how do the republicans -- what is their next move. chuck schumer saying if house republicans consider the president's budget a new offer we await their counteroffer. the ball is in their court to state on what they would do on entitlements and taxes. they have given no specifics so far. >> that's a tough question for them. by the way, you said this reminds you of dillon going electric. i think of the scene in the god father michael corleoneny, my offer is nothing, not even the fee for the contract which i expect you to pay for the pocket. michael was prepared to follow
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through on that demand. sam is right on the president's flexibility here. republicans more than democrats have to figure out what they're willing to swallow and they have more of a problem of their unity and messaging. some senior and some rank and file members coming out saying, you know, we should just basically get what we can on the tax cuts and extend the middle-class tax cuts and live to fight another day on the rest of it. and they also have to figure out what exactly is their message on medicare right now. >> yeah. >> you know, the romney campaign has been the remnants or the echos or what's left of the romney campaign staff is boasting that they sort of won the debate on medicare or fought the president to a draw, but because they attacked cuts to medicare in obama care, i don't think that romney ever really sold to the public significant cuts, significant changes to the medicare program. so republicans in the abstract want this. i feel like they haven't spelled out the painful cuts they're putting on the table and part of what obama is trying to do is force them to do that. >> yes. because he himself has not made
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any mention of it and, you know, david gregory this morning on "morning joe" saying it's going to be painful for both sides. the president trying to outsource that, pardon the use of a loaded term, to the gop, joy. >> nobody wants to talk about what they want to cut. that's the thing in washington. why you don't see the budget shrink. talking about cuts means school lunches or cut medicare. when romney andline talked about cutting medicare they had this carve out for people over 55. they said don't worry, you won't have to feel any pain. that's not even on the table. they lost with that proposition and republicans are saying look we've got to go back and admit to our wealthy donors we lost on the issue of upper income tax cuts they don't also want to own medicare cuts. everybody is right, the president's position, opposite of what he did before. let me give you everything you could vote for and let the public watch you say no. that was the way their strategy worked before the election. we put this grand bargain on the table, you should be able to support this. a lot used to be your ideas. let the public see you say no.
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it's the reverse where he's saying i'm not bargaining with you anymore. here's nothing. >> nothing. >> the corleone tactic. >> it would help republican in the sense once they bargain to something that is $1 trillion in tax cuts at least they can say they got something. >> we have to take a break. coming up we are expecting to hear john boehner's response to the president later this hour. we'll bring the speaker's remarks just ahead. time for the your business en e entrepreneur of the week. christine wants you to shop small. owner of wonder works, a charleston, south carolina, based toy store believes in cooperation instead of competition. she has a section dedicated to locally made products to make sure her customers' dollars stay
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local. watch your business sunday morning at 7:30 on msnbc.
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music is a universal language. but when i was in an accident... i was worried the health care system spoke a language all its own with unitedhealthcare, i got help that fit my life. information on my phone. connection to doctors who get where i'm from. and tools to estimate what my care may cost. so i never missed a beat. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for more than 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. vice president joe biden went to costco yesterday. the wholesale super store, if you want mayonnaise it comes in a gallon-sized tub. biden did not opt for the mayo but in between snagging taste tests he picked up some fire logs, a watch, and a large apple
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pie. could joe biden be stocking own provisions and supplies for a month-long fiscal cliff fight. >> i'll tell you what i'll predict. the emergence of one of our favorite characters in this drama, joe biden. >> so -- >> now he has his costco trip out of the way, good relationships with boehner, good relationship the with mcconnell. >> the president's second? command may hold sway over another republican who played a role in the debt ceiling negotiation, eric cantor who is better versed on the details of tax issues than most members of congress remains relatively tight with vice president joe biden. as the clock ticks down to the fiscal cliff, might lieutenant biden help avert disaster? sam, you talked to republican on the hill and there's a lot of back and forth about how good of a negotiator the president and his emissaries are. i've been wondering where joe biden is on this, given his experience on the hill and whether he might be a more effective ambassador in this back and forth that we are having.
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>> yeah. i think so. keep in mind, he and eric cantor had lengthy conversations when we were doing this in a different incarnation many months ago and so, you know, the framework was there between these two guys, not just that, between the respective staffs. the problem, if there was one with respect to biden, at least as i think, is that the -- if you do need an emissary on the hill for democrats, it's probably going to be with the house democratic caucus. by that i mean john boehner will at some point have to decide if he can get something done with all of his caucus or part of his caucus or house democrats. at that point you need nancy pelosi to get some of those liberal members to basically stomach a deal that a lot of progressives probably won't end up likes. >> can't nancy pelosi always get her troops in line? that's the thing about nancy pelosi. we talk about who gets things done on the hill. nancy pelosi gets her troops to fall in line. >> i think there's a little bit of a question here about what kind of hill we're imagining and what we think negotiations are. and there's a version of this sort of joe biden showing up that is the lbj master of the senate version of how things get
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done in washington and the idea that it has to do with relationships and with closed doors and understandings of, you know, these -- and it's not clear to me that our contemporary manifestations of american politics look like that. part of -- part of my concern is i think we have to keep thinking about the fact that everyone is already thinking towards the next election cycle. republicans know that they are benefited from a smaller electorate in mid term elections and that they are highly likely to not be as punished at the ballot box as they might otherwise be, even if they hold out. and joe biden is running for president. and that's -- that's true, right? >> why else would he be buying a watch and apple pie and fire logs? >> that's what happens when vice presidents are in the second term of an administration. and so i think we just have to be careful about an assumption this is primarily about washington hill relationships -- >> but there tends to be the supreme focus on the outside personalities and the power of the individual when, in fact, a lot of this stuff is settled by anonymous staffers who you and i
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have never heard of. >> people that have no face -- >> what's ironic. everyone is getting mad at -- republicans are getting mad at obama for going to pennsylvania. obama has no real role to play in these negotiations at this point -- >> the a nall sis you read, it comes down to john boehner and president obama. i will reed an excerpt from pegeny noonan in the "wall street journal" would disagree with melissa this is not the old-school politic s yore. beggy writes -- when fire logs burned without fire starters and apple pies were baked in everybody's home. >> not sold in costco. >> if only everything could be like ronald reagan.
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>> and tip o'neill. >> the thing is, and i think it is true that -- i know peggy noonan likes the grand er and everything grand, but the senate isn't so relevant. this being a budget and tax bill they can do reconciliation. this is a house problem. the difference is that tip o'neill actually had influence with his caucus. john boehner has precious influence with the part of his caucus the most recalcitrant on these issues. in the current lame duck congress john boehner still has the same problem, resistant people who will not go along with a deal so the question is, whether or not he can deliver even the 20 or 25 votes he needs if pelosi did what she always does and delivers her caucus and how much boehner can stomach of this being a primarily democratic deal that he has no shaping and, you know -- >> and isn't that -- i mean we talked earlier in the week about paul ryan being deputized being part of these debates, we haven't heard from him yet, but michael he has not made an
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appearance yet so far. we know cantor has sort of been on the sidelines too but ryan sort of -- this sort of statement that he was going to be the person, perhaps, as you point out, joy, to sign off for the most restive parts of the caucus and give his messi inble a deal. >> i don't know how to explain that, although i think the white house, i'm sure, will plausibly argue ryan was part of a ticket just repudiated and he is at the low ebb of his credibility. a separate argument, somewhat contradicts that one, romney's campaign in the end was not so much about the ryan plan. you know, "the wall street journal" and sort of movement conservatives were thrilled when romney chose paul ryan and said we're going to have an election an the big issues, entitlement reforms, policy wonk's dream and that was not the romney campaign. romney did everything he could to water down his relationship with the ryan plan. and so it was -- it took a back seat. i just don't know that ryan is at a high eb of his influence
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and authority and one of the stronger cards that the republican party can play. one last point on the peg began noonan/ronald reagan stuff, politics has changed. the echo chamber of partisan media and pressures coming from twitter and blogs, and there's so much more information about what's happening on the hill and every negotiating faint is met with this enormous backlash. it's just not -- it doesn't work the way it used to and i don't think it is going to again. >> it ain't what it used to be. grab your apple pie at costco. i would grab -- i would grab -- i would note that i think paul ryan may be the only person in america who became a romneyest. apparently as pegeny noonan said, romney left no footprints in the sand. >> oh. >> coming up, the ten letter word that can grind washington to a halt, but can capitol hill clean up the dirty mess that is the filibuster. we will ask our very own chris
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let's invest in our teachers so they can inspire our students. let's solve this. senators often throw out the filibuster threat on capitol hill but we vice president actual -- haven't between one in action and the rule cannen confusing. >> the chairman will gavel them off if he stops talking or sits. >> excuse me? >> what are you doing? >> i didn't know if i'm supposed to -- >> we usually don't raise our hands. >> it's not the worst idea in the world. >> the senator is allowed to yield for a question without yielding the floor. >> what do you mean. >> he's allowed to yield for a question without yielding the floor. >> i was in the house. i know nothing about senate rules. >> will lawmakers yield for filibuster reform? we will ask chris hayes next in "up now." want to try to crack it? yeah, that's the way to do it!
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wild horses aren't going to drag me off those. these people have heard everything i've got to say. >> the world's greatest deliberative body has been anything but great of late in large part due to the minority's increasing use of the word filibuster to solve legislation. in a report detailing filibuster abuse, they calculate the current senate passed a record low 2.89% of hits bills, evidence of a rapidly declining long-term trend. in an effort to reverse it the top democrat harry reid is trying to place some limits on its use drawing protests from republicans. one is to reinstate the talking
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filibuster, the principle if you want to filibuster you have to stand on the floor for hours to make your case. reid's threat to uses the so-called nuclear option to achieve this prompted a spat about rules on the senate floor. >> what the majority leader is saying he will break the rules in the senate to change the rules of the senate. >> no. we're not going to break the rules to change the rules. we're going to follow the rules to make a couple of minor changes to make this place more efficient. >> joining me now to discuss is msnbc's chris hayes, host of "up" for a little segment we call -- >> "up now". >> took us a while to come up with that. >> brains. >> i will read what's on my card. i can't paraphrase this. filibuster, a tactic used to thwart the will of the majority or last safeguard for tyranny for the poor downtrodden minority. >> the former. here's my take. evolution was accidental,
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historically, actually kind of an oversight procedurally, second of all, if you go back and read federalist papers, the proceedings of the constitutional convention, they thought a lot about what thresholds you should have for which kinds of votes. so they didn't just say majority for everything. you have to get a two-thirds majority to override a veto, treatiesratified. it wasn't like this didn't occur to them. they never intended for the body which is already anti-democratic. in all sorts of different ways, to be a fundamentally super majority body and the evolution towards it being a super majority body i think has really genuinely screwed up the equilibrium of our system. >> if you look at thchart from e brennan center from 1947 to today, the number of closure motions filed is shocking. i'm -- there it is. look at that. we talk about dysfunction in congress. it's not just because of sort of
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everybody in their partisan corners. there are procedural rules used to block anything from getting done. >> one of the things that happens here, right, there's a difference between what the rules say and norms in an institution are. norms are like things that just aren't done. what's happened is a gap has opened between the two. there are things you can do according to the rules like, you know, put holds on every nomination that comes across secretly or filibuster every single motion to recommit. there are things you can do according to the rules that violate these norms. once the norms get violated. that becomes woven into the institution and then everyone's just violating the norms and then you get a broken institution. >> sam, we talk about things broken in our democratic process. some would argue redistricting is a big problem, but unfortunately with this and something like filibuster reform whoever is this party in power tends to be the one resistant to change. the question i guess i wonder is, the republicans have made clear their aversion to filibuster reform. speaker of the house john boehner called it dead on arrival yesterday. the question is whether
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democrats in the senate hold the line here or whether they say, we need to do something about a carl levin seems to think you can't push this through with the nuclear option. you need to get two-thirds on board. >> this is what happened when they last considered this in 2010 where you had the gray beards of the institution say no, this is supposed to be the [ inaudible ] for the house and chris dodds go to the floor and say this cannot happened. what happens with gray beards is they usually leave. >> or get grayer. >> we have a new class of senate democrats coming in and saying there is a legal and constitutional basis for doing this. the thing that i think gets confused here, is that they're not doing away with the filibuster. what reid is trying to do -- >> i think they should do. >> well, you can make -- you can have the argument because a lot of reproductive rights groups would be more cauckau -- cautio about them. have them show up and get 40 votes. >> if you try to break a
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filibuster there's a quorum call and you have to get a quorum assembled in the senate. people don't realize getting 51 senators on the floor is difficult logistically. >> i will take a break from this discussion of dysfunctional congress to go over to house speaker john boehner who is delivering his rebuttal to president obama's pennsylvania speech. let us listen in. >> little to nothing to solve the bigger problem here, which is our national deficit and our national debt. this debt doesn't exist because we don't tax small businesses enough. it exists because washington continues to spend too much. raising taxes on small businesses instead of taking a balanced approach that also cuts spending, is wrong. it's only going to make it harder for our economy to grow. and if our economy doesn't grow, americans don't get new jobs. and the debt problem that we have will continue to threaten our children's future. as i said the day after the election, republicans are not
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seeking to impose our will on the president. we're seeking a bipartisan solution that can pass both chambers of congress and be signed into law by the president in the coming days. now during a campaign, the president pledged to the american people he would seek a balanced approach to addressing the debt, the combination of new revenues and spending cuts. so the day after the election, i said to the republican majority would accept new revenues as part of a balanced approach that includes real spending cuts and reforms. now, the white house took three weeks to respond with any kind of a proposal and much to my disappointment it wasn't a serious one. still, i'm willing to move forward in good faith. our original framework still stands. instead of raising tax rates we can produce similar amount of revenue reforming the tax code
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to close loopholes and lower tax rates. that's far better for the economy and the american people favor that approach by two to one. they favor it more when we can also show them that real spending cuts will, in fact, reduce the deficit. now there have been many conversations over the last couple of years that could inform a solution. i hope the president will draw from those discussions and work with both parties to find common ground. solving the fiscal cliff in a manner that addresses the true drivers of our debt and saves american jobs will be a great way for the president to start his second term. and for the good of the country, and my colleagues, we're ready to work with the president to achieve those goals.
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>> [ inaudible ]. >> that was speaker john boehner on capitol hill offering his rebuttal to the president's speech? pennsylvania. michael crowley, i'm sensing that there is a -- the drawing of a line in the sand about the president's squandering some amount of goodwill that the republicans are now trying to sort of further as a mean out there almost as their answer to his presumption of reasonableness or the great reasonableness tour of 2012. >> yeah. you know, boehner saying this is not a game but that's part of saying it's not a game is part of the game. i'm not sure that there's was any genuine goodwill republicans felt to the president as a result of his election. i don't think they had a genuine sense they owed himming that and that's how politics works. fight tooth and nail to your greatest advantage and that's what they're going to do. i don't think obama has zaundsered anything by doing this. >> could i just say, i liked it when conservatisms used to hold down the anti-whining end. stop whining, suck it up. now it's umbrage all the time, whining, whining.
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we don't like what he gave us. he's squandering. like negotiations. we're all grownups. you're going back and forth on a policy matter. i find the constant invo nags of umbrage an offense. >> the wearing of this badge of balance and honor and integrity. it's politics, man. this is messaging and everybody has to do this and presume to be the party above it all but everybody does have to come to the table. >> or not. >> or not. the threat now is -- you see the beginnings of it, that the president has squandered goodwill and maybe if they make a deal, the next four years they're going try to make his life hell. if you want to see action on immigration or energy or financial reform in a big way, tax reform in a big way, you're forfeiting that doing what you're doing. >> weren't they going do that anyway? i don't know if anybody is as struck as i was how remarkably
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unchanged the rhetoric that boehner is using and this isn't changing at all. they're still talking about spending and deficits in the same way that they were before the election. nothing has changed structurally. i think they were going to do that anyway. i don't think the republican message has moved one iota after this election. >> this is why perhaps the only significant news that came out of that initial proposal was the effort to get the debt ceiling away from congress and towards the president's hands because if you -- although it blew up in their faces last time, congressional republicans were hinting they were going to use the debt ceiling again as leverage. so if they lost this first round to fiscal cliff talks they can say we want this and this. so what the administration is going to do is one of two things. insist any fiscal cliff deal includes a raising of the debt ceiling or they're going to say, we want the power to raise the debt ceiling. you know, i think that might actually end up being a big sticking point of the negotiation. >> understandably they see it as
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the biggest point of leverage. >> it also seems to me the tone is moving in the wrong direction. after the -- right after the election, there was a little bit of recrimination, a little like well, boehner sounded getting squishy and what's happened over the succession of weeks since then, as he's meeting with the caucus, there's a hardening. in terms of -- >> or a disbelief -- a disbelief -- >> comes out and says stuff like that, you read some of the local papers, these people rshs it. >> are telling their local paper we're in a bad negotiation position here. >> the problem is, had he's probably a guy that's going to -- boehner will still be dealing with after january 3rd. in the lame duck congress it's still the same congress and boehner still has to message to those people because he still has to gets the gavel back in january. i get the sense that he's dragging his dead weight of the tea party behind him to this day and i don't see how he can move off the same rhetoric, same talking points. what spending do you want to cut?
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republicans don't want to say because they have to still -- >> most hilarious part of this whole thing. >> there is no -- well now they can actually present a counteroffer. we talked about this before. it's a question of what they're actually going to put down. >> just a quick point on whether this is going to sour future relationship and possibility for doing things in the years to come, the parties will act out of their self-interests. if we have an immigration reform bill, republicans are terrified they're facing a demographic disaster. >> talk about gray beard. >> not feeling they got the short end of the stick on this deal. i think obama should get the best deal he can and let the other things take care of themselves. >> we have to leave it there. thank you to sam, chris, joy, and michael. you can catch chris on "up" tomorrow and sunday morning right here on msnbc at 8:00 a.m. eastern time. and before wrapping things up today we want to take a moment to share big news about a member of our "now" team, casey shaffer
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welcomed linus james shaffer levin into the world on november 21st. unfortunately' he's a scorpio. mother, baby and father are doing great. congrats and the newest -- our newest nowist. we'll see you back here at monday noon eastern, when joined by michael steele, the new republ republic's baits and musician andrew wfrmts kay. until then find us at facebook.com/now with alex. "andrea mitchell reports" is next. good afternoon to you, andrea. >> good afternoon. thanks so much. coming up here, president obama takes his tax plan on the road trying to sell it to the american people. republicans aren't buying it. congressman jason chav fitz joins me. fay yesterday and ambassador martin indyk with reaction to the vote at the u.n. and the wife of an american contractor jailed? cuba turns up the heat on the u.s. government and one campaign ceo michael elliott on the work that needs to be done.
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that plus the lottery winners power ball. "andrea mitchell reports" is next. n an accident... i was worried the health care system spoke a language all its own with unitedhealthcare, i got help that fit my life. information on my phone. connection to doctors who get where i'm from. and tools to estimate what my care may cost. so i never missed a beat. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for more than 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
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